Matt Levy, EHS Medical Director, Receives Silver Medal of Valor from Howard County Fire and Rescue Services

Pictured left to right are Fire Chief/Paramedic John Butler, Lt./Paramedic Will Huber (also received the award), Medical Director Matt Levy, Howard County Chief Administrative Officer Lonnie Robbins

Pictured left to right are Fire Chief/Paramedic John Butler, Lt./Paramedic Will Huber (also received the award), Medical Director Matt Levy, Howard County Chief Administrative Officer Lonnie Robbins

Dr. Matt Levy ’00, emergency health services, and ’08 M.S., emergency health services, was recently honored for his work in responding to the Columbia Mall shooting in January 2014. Dr. Levy received the Silver Medal of Valor from Howard County Fire and Rescue Services for his role as the second tactical medic to arrive on scene that day, and then transitioned to being the on-scene medical director.

The award was given for entering a dangerous environment that had the potential for a continued direct threat in the immediate aftermath of a shooting. Levy supported the SWAT team’s mission to identify and assess for additional threats on scene and was ready to initiate treatment as part of the medic embedded with the tactical team. As additional resources arrived, Dr. Levy transitioned his role to being the on-scene medical director for the duration of the emergency response.

The award was given during a ceremony Wednesday, October 14 in Clarksville. In addition to being an alumnus, Dr. Levy is currently the medical director of UMBC’s emergency health services department. Read more about the Howard County Fire and Rescue Services awards in the Baltimore Sun.

Richard Bissell, Emergency Health Services, Analyzes Nepal Earthquake Response in The Conversation

Rick-BissellIn response to a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal over the weekend, Richard Bissell wrote about the international relief effort in The Conversation. Bissell, a professor of emergency health services, along with his colleague Thomas Kirsch at Johns Hopkins Medicine, analyzed what can be done to improve and effectively maximize resources of international health-oriented disaster responses.

“The most important aspect of this process is called the ‘needs assessment,’ which uses an initial damage assessment to predict what kinds of rescue, health, food and shelter needs exist at that time, as well as what will likely be needed going forward in the near- and midterm. As the needs are established, then the appropriate response can be directed to meet those needs,” Bissell and his colleague wrote.

Bissell also wrote about the need for immediate search and rescue operations and urgent trauma care with a focus on working closely with local medical practitioners and to not use technologies that are beyond local capacities for continued use after the disaster response.

“The lesson here is that international response teams need to know the resilience status of local health care facilities before embarking on a response,” Bissell wrote.

To read the full article in The Conversation titled “What works and what doesn’t in disaster response,” click here.

Dwight Polk, Emergency Health Services, on EMS1.com

Dwight PolkDwight Polk, paramedic program director and senior lecturer of emergency health services, recently presented at the Arrowhead EMS Conference in Duluth, Minn. about exploring the psychological impact of line of duty deaths (LODD) on EMS organizations. Polk regularly teaches and presents at regional and state EMS conferences around the country.

The editor of EMS1.com, a news service for EMS professionals, wrote an article analyzing Polk’s presentation in discussing the inevitability of planning and preparing for a line of duty death in the profession. The article mentioned several key takeaways from Polk’s presentation, including having updated emergency contact forms, protection of evidence in LODDs, engaging the news media as a partner, and using an authorized spokesperson to speak on behalf of the department, among other topics.

Polk serves as a mental health professional for two CISM teams and is a CIT trainer for the Howard County Police Department. He is the co-author of two textbooks; “Pre-Hospital Behavior Emergencies and Crisis Response”  and “Law Enforcement Responder: Principles of Emergency Medicine, Rescue and Force Protection.”

To read the full article on EMS1.com, click here.

BLS for the Healthcare Provider (2/24)

Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider will be held on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 from 5:30-10:00 pm. This course is open to the general public. The registration fee for the provider course is $85 which includes the manual. The BLS renewal course is $70. Interested persons may download a registration fee from the following website: http://ehspace.umbc.edu

Inquires should be directed to Danette McCoy at 410-455-3584 or danette@umbc.edu.

Basic Life Support Instructor Training (2/28)

Basic Life Support for Instructor training will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 8:00 am -4:00 pm. This course is open to anyone who is interested in learning to teach CPR. Registrants must have a current BLS card. The registration fee for the course is $200 which includes the manual. Interested persons may download a registration fee from the Emergency Health Services website.

Inquires should be directed to Danette McCoy at 410-455-3584 or danette@umbc.edu.